Ah, vacanza in Italia. It’s a phenomena not known in the US, but common in parts of Europe. Storefronts are shuttered. Businesses close down. Some for the entire month of August; like our friend’s medical/legal business, or the chiropractor’s office. Others, for anywhere to a week or three (you can see some affects of the economic crisis here). I’ve been walking our neighborhood this month and it’s become like a ghost town. There’s parking on the streets. Hardly any people around. And more businesses shuttered than open.
It’s my 2nd August in Italy, and I’m still fascinated by it all. What’s so intriguing to my mind, which is little used these days, is how they let you know they’ll be gone. Some storefronts just close the gates and that’s it. They’ll be open when they feel like it.
But more common is a sign. In the window behind the security gate. High up on the store sign above the door. In a corner of a now empty display case. They are hung with packing tape or scotch tape. Someone was environmentally conscious and reused the DHL packing tape to hang theirs. Some signs tell you a “to and from” date, while others just let you know when they’ll return.
And they come in a variety of styles. Handwritten. There’s a printed one with drawings of a sailboat and a cable car lift, like at a ski resort. This one seems to be the standard template that’s available. Some people really go all out and print it on colored paper. Then there was one with a drawing of a woman in a bikini top holding a cocktail (she has the right idea!).
Amazingly, one owner found it necessary to make it REALLY official, with a stamp and everything. (I used Google Translate… Italian doesn’t always translate well to English…)
“I, the undersigned, Paolo Rubini, owner / manager of administration Bar Rubini, exercise place in the street / square off Gallia 106/108, communicate the summer break of the month of August in the following period from 10/08/13 to 31/8/13. In Faith, Paolo Rubin”
But my favorite is from this blog I posted some weeks ago, which I reposted from another site.
“Closed for holiday, for condoms and Viagra go to the bicycle repairman on Via dei Macci, thanks”
I hope you enjoyed your ferie. Stay tuned for a new blog coming up soon about our travels this summer to the island of Majorca, off the coast of Spain and a cruise to Greece.